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The 82nd Airborne Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team will be inactivated Thursday during a ceremony at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
During the ceremony, the brigade’s command team will case the colors and close a chapter on the unit’s history that began in 2006 when the brigade was formally activated.
Since then, paratroopers from the “Fury Brigade” have deployed four times to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The 4th BCT’s inactivation is part of a larger Army-wide reorganization and drawdown.
The Army is inactivating 10 BCTs as it works toward an end-strength of 490,000 soldiers by the end of 2015.
This will be the fourth BCT inactivated so far this fiscal year.
In addition to the BCT cuts, the Army will reorganize most of its remaining BCTs by adding a third maneuver battalion to its armored and infantry brigades. The Army’s Stryker brigades already have three maneuver battalions each.
Even deeper manpower cuts to the Army are expected after 2015; projections call for the Army to drop to 450,000 or even 420,000 soldiers.
The 4th BCT has made “significant contributions in its short history with the 82nd Airborne, said Col. Tim Watson, the brigade commander, in a statement.
“The 1st and 2nd Battalions, 508th Infantry Regiment, continue this tradition today, serving the nation while forward-deployed to Afghanistan,” he said. “Throughout these last eight years, the BCT has performed exemplary in combat and sacrificed much on behalf of our nation. While we’re saddened that 4th BCT’s time is nearing its end, the legacy of the BCT and the 508th lives on in these paratroopers.”
The brigade’s 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment will be transferred to the 82nd Airborne’s 3rd BCT, and it will keep its designation. The brigade’s 2nd Battalion, 508th Infantry will be reorganized under the 2nd BCT.
The 508th Infantry Regiment was formed in 1942 and has participated in every major combat operation fought by the 82nd Airborne Division.